Tejano culture is so ingrained in Texas that it is often taken for granted.
And why not? “Tejano” means “Texan”… but with a bit of a Mexican
Regardless of your own
cultural background, you cannot experience Texas without the Tejano. It is often the
first and usually the most lasting impression for visitors to the Lone Star
Here in Texas,
many of our favorite foods are Tex-Mex--rooted in the old traditions of Spain and Mexico but made with ingredients
that come from right here. Imagine Texas
without tamales, enchiladas, tacos, tostados… without the taquerias… without
the tequila… without carne asada or cabrito.
And like the food, Tejano
music has a unique flavor—not strictly Mexican, but influenced by all the
cultures of Texas.
Traditional forms of música
Norteña and conjunto get Texas toes tapping… and, once mixed with
American jazz, blues, and rock-and-roll, they blossom into a popular modern
Be sure to visit Little Joe y
La Familia Museum in Temple
for a thrilling immersion into Tejano music. And it’s common knowledge
that when Little Joe is playing, everyone is there.
The world of arts and letters
in Texas also
bears the imprint of the Tejano. Writers such as Americo Paredes integrated
folklore and scholarship to share the Mexican American experience, delivering a
powerful new Texan voice and challenging stereotypes with vivid language.
The Chicano movement of the
1960s and ‘70s reawakened the tradition of “muralism”—large, often political or
spiritual-based paintings in public spaces, often on the side of buildings.
These energetic and poetic images are a source of cultural pride and a
celebration of heritage. They can be seen throughout the state, with
concentrations in El Paso and San Antonio.
Also…Tejano folklore and
holidays are written in ink on the Texas
calendar. Everyone in Texas
is aware of the Mexican traditional celebrations Cinco de Mayo and Día
de los Muertos or Day of the Dead... and look forward to them with the
same excitement as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July.
And if you love to cheer the
Dallas Cowboys, repeat after me: “Viva Los Vaqueros de Dallas!”
After all the Tejano was the